The articles The Sandra Bullock Trade and But Will It Make You Happier? both discuss the relation between wealth and happiness, and it doesn’t require much to figure out, that these articles agree that happiness doesn’t depend on wealth in general. But as The Sandra Bullock Trade nearly refuses any connection between the two and even states that “if you have an unsuccessful marriage (…) you will remain significantly unfulfilled” (p. 2), But Will It Make You Happier? points out that even though happiness isn’t dependent on income, your buys will influence your mood.
The Sandra Bullock Trade acknowledges that poor people are generally unhappier, but the article also claims that as long as your basic needs are fulfilled, money makes no difference. This is probably the biggest disagreement between the articles, as But Will It Make You Happier? is somewhat more capable of differentiating the dilemma. Instead of just having a one-tack mind, the article focuses on both the pleasure that money can bring, but it also declares how we are more likely to find joy when we buy social activities than when we buy material objects.
The Sandra Bullock Trade catches your attention from the very beginning. The headline itself makes you want to read it, because a celebrity like Sandra Bullock is a person that will instantly catch your attention whether you want her to or not. Another means, which The Sandra Bullock Trade uses, is to turn directly to the reader, and in the sentence “Nonetheless, if you had to take more than three second to think about this question, you are absolutely crazy” (p. 2), the article does so. The article asks the reader whether he would “(…) exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?” (p. 2), and hereby it is not only making the reader think, but it also forces the reader to consider his own life. The link between the reader’s life and the article makes it difficult to stop reading, contemporary with bringing a new significance to The Sandra Bullock Trade.
Besides of the above-mentioned means, The Sandra Bullock Trade expresses a curtain criticism against the general way of grasping life and the school system by saying that “Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough to make social decisions” (p. 3) This controversial statement, which might be slightly exaggerated, prepares the ground for a debate, which is an important component of an interesting article, and the exaggeration help holding on to the reader as well. Last but not least, the deliberate choice of words and the substantiation of the statements of the article contribute to engage the reader.
Superficially seen, But Will It Make You Happier? and Happiness, Money and Giving It Away share the same opinion. Money won’t buy you joy, but it might buy you some happy moments, that is. But taking a look under the surface, you’ll recognize that Happiness, Money and Giving It Away goes deeper than the other article. But Will It Make You Happier? states that great social experiences can be bought, and Happiness, Money and Giving It Away doesn’t disagree with that. But Happiness, Money and Giving It Away distinguishes between an apparent, momentarily happiness and a more sincere, long-lasting feeling of enjoyment. This genuine happiness can’t be achieved by wealth, but wealth can still be a part of the achievement, which causes the joy. As an example, Happiness, Money and Giving It Away refers to Warren Buffett, who is the second wealthiest man in the world.
Even though his long work hours have caused him to be more stressed and in a worse mood than others, he is now experiencing a satisfaction that has been worth the waiting time. With the point of this example being that a temporarily good mood can’t lead to a greater happiness, Happiness, Money and Giving It Away denies that spending makes you into a happy person, and contradicts But Will It Make You Happier?’s statement, saying that as long as you don’t compare your own purchases with other’s, using your money will to some extent make you happier.
So, a great income and using your money on social activities will make you momentarily happy. But to feel real happiness, you should find a more meaningful activity.